Unheralded

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — King Charles III And The Long Shadow Of A Name

Queen Elizabeth’s death Sept. 8 hit me harder than I expected. As an American small “r” republican, I usually find America’s obsession with the British royals perplexing. But Elizabeth was much more than a monarch. She was the embodiment of Britain’s unique place in the world through a tumultuous century. The queen’s death after the longest reign in British history, …


Unheralded

JIM THIELMAN: When The ‘Aw Shucks’ Boys Chased The Babe’s Record

There will be some chit-chat about Roger Maris this month at North Dakota coffee shops and saloons because Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees is chasing the slugger’s single-season home run record. North Dakotans still claim that Maris’ 61 homers in 1961 remain the legitimate, nonsteroid record. North Dakotans still claim Roger Maris as their own, even though he …


CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Americans’ Diminishing Trust In Their Institutions

The last half century has been a period of great disillusionment. In the 1950s, the American people overwhelmingly trusted their government, their president, news sources, educational systems and basic American institutions from the Justice Department to the Department of Defense. Today, the American people are largely disaffected and cynical about those same institutions. A recent NBC News poll indicated that 74 percent of the American people believe …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota Vs. University Of Northern Iowa

Tommy Schuster completed 20 of 23 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns to lead the University of North Dakota to a 29-27 Potato Bowl win over the No.-24 ranked University of Northern Iowa in Missouri Valley Conference football Saturday in the Alerus Center. The Fighting Hawks (1-1 overall, 1-0 MVC) clinched the seesaw game on Schuster’s 6-yard touchdown run …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Long X Divide Offers Wilderness Hiking

There’s something almost magical about stepping onto the prairie and knowing that it’s possible — even likely — that you’re the first person who has ever put their foot down on that spot. Ever. One of the places you can do that is on the Long X Divide, near the extreme north end of the North Dakota Badlands. Long X …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Seventy-Five

On a warm summer evening in late August 1947, young Phyllis Maxine Boehmer Fuglie stood on the platform of a Chicago train station and kissed her husband, Whitey Fuglie, goodbye. Just 22 years old and heavy with child, she boarded a train for North Dakota, where her mother and his mother waited to help her with the birth of her …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University Of North Dakota Vs. University Of Nebraska

Photographer Russ Hons traveled to Lincoln, Neb., this past weekend for the University of North Dakota football team’s season opener against the University of Nebraska. The Fighting Hawks gave the Cornhuskers a scare before falling 38-17 in a nonconference game. UND quarterback Tommy Schuster was 24-37 for 137 yards and one touchdown, a 1-yard strike to Adam Zavalney. Isaiah Smith …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — What If Every Generation Of Americans Wrote Its Own Constitution?

“The earth belongs … to the living,” Thomas Jefferson famously wrote to James Madison in 1787, and “the dead have neither power nor rights over it.” Jefferson offered these words in support of his belief that succeeding generations of Americans had the right to develop their own constitutions. But Madison shot down Jefferson’s idea, arguing that “improvement made by the dead … form a debt …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — PPP Follow-Up

On Wednesday, I wrote an article about Gary Berube, the fella who writes the right-wing stink letters to the editor to all our state’s papers pretty frequently. I wrote about the hypocrisy of him criticizing the proposal to forgive college loans in a recent letter to The Forum when he had taken a free $20,000 PPP loan forgiveness from the …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Glass Houses, Candy And Ice Cream And Hypocrisy

I’ll make this short and sweet. There’s a fellow over in Mandan, N.D., named Gary Berube who’s a stockbroker and a slumlord and a frequent right-wing contributor to the state’s newspaper editorial pages. If you read North Dakota’s newspapers, you’ve seen his rants. His most frequent one appeared in Tuesday’s online edition of The Forum. It read: Democrats Are Trying …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — What Would Fred Rogers Say Today?

The memoir of my friendship with Fred Rogers, “I’m Proud of You,” was first published in 2006, followed by a second edition paperback in 2012. It recently dawned on me that was a full decade ago. Yet I continue to hear regularly from people who have found the book and found deep meaning in it. That is because Fred Rogers …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Silencing Speech Through Violence

“The flame of the Enlightenment is waning,” a journalist said to Günter Gass. “But,” he replied, “there is no other source of light.” When I heard the news, my first reaction was, “Well, they finally got him.” Salman Rushdie has been a wanted man since Valentine’s Day 1989, when Iran’s dying supreme leader, the Ayatollah Khomeini (1902-1989), issued a fatwa …

JIM THIELMAN: At A 50th Reunion: Fewer Witnesses

I arrived early to my 50th high school class reunion after hitting a bucket of golf balls with Dad’s clubs, the same clubs we used when I last hit a bucket of balls in 1989. It seems that range balls are no longer purchased after a stroll to the pro shop. A machine near the tees plops them into your …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Bad Lands Updates: Drew Wrigley, Meridian Energy Group, Land For Sale

Drew Wrigley: Case Closed As I write this Friday, it has been exactly 10 years and 27 days since four western North Dakota counties — Billings, Slope, McKenzie and Golden Valley — filed a lawsuit to try to get access to section line roads inside four parcels of land being protected by the U.S. Forest Service, the federal agency that …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — The Beauty And Opportunity Of Isolation In Montana

The great American novelist John Steinbeck liked North Dakota well enough when he passed through with his poodle, Charley, in October 1960, but then he crossed the border at Beach, N.D., and Wibaux, Mont. At that juncture, he wrote, “I am in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection, but with Montana it is love, …

LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings By Barbara La Valleur — The Associated Press Stylebook

Good grief, it’s no wonder the world is in such a state! When I started out as a cub reporter at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead in the early 1960s, I recall The Associated Press Stylebook was little more than a pamphlet of a few pages, 30 at most. I recently had cause to buy the latest copy, a 612-page tome, …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Two Heads Are Better Than One, Even When One Is A Goat Head: Attaday

This all comes together, I promise. Something I heard my father say countless times: “Two heads are better than one even, when one is a goat head.” For a time in our Army life, we lived in El Paso, Texas, and when I heard this phrase, I thought my parents were talking about the thorny weed that was called “goathead” …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Reminiscing About Scouts In My Life

You are darned tootin’ I visited the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace when in Savannah, Ga.,  about 10 years ago. And the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home nearby. The Pathe video of O’Connors’s chickens she trained to walk backward is a classic and you can watch it here. I also spotted some headstones in the Savannah cemeteries of my paternal ancestors. (Yup my paternal ancestors arrived from …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘HE LOST’

Saturday will mark the three-week anniversary of the day my friend, Darrell, fell through a hole in his deck. You’ll recall that I wrote about it a couple of days later. And in that story, I asked you to speculate on what Darrell’s last words were as he headed for the deck below. I had already asked Darrell if he …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Rodeo Soliloquy

There was a spot between the bullpen and the concession stand at the 17th Annual Ashley PRCA Rodeo last weekend where the wafting odors of manure and seared burgers competed, and somehow, strangely, to the olfactory of this child of the prairie, it was heaven. We pause, here in Ashley, N.D., the first weekend in August to just be, unabashedly, …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Vin Scully, Backyard Butterflies And The Meaning Of Life

Vin Scully and I had a nice conversation one morning in the spring of 2019. “I’m carrying a little cup of coffee and walking down to my office and we’ll be able to chat for a little while,” he said. That voice. It was a little surreal to hear it coming through my cell phone. Growing up in Minnesota, I …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — An Explosion Of Scoria Lilies In The Badlands: Rain Makes All The Difference

I’m home from the Badlands of North Dakota. Rain makes all the difference. In my lifetime, I’ve seen it this green, but not for a good long while. After these years of drought, the wildflowers are exploding. I don’t remember seeing so many scoria lilies (10-petal blazing star, aka Mentzelia Decapetala in the southern Badlands before). Oh and Lazuli Buntings everywhere.

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Postcards From The Grave

On Friday, I received postcards in the mail that my Mother and I had written decades ago to my grandparents at P.O. Box 172 Slope County, N.D. My Mother’s was in her Copperplate handwriting, addressed to her parents. Mine was in the handwriting of a little girl, addressed to my grandparents. My cousins are going through my aunt’s stuff and …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — I’m Home, Not Quite OK, But Home

Last Sunday, I woke up a little later than usual. I don’t go to the Y on Sundays — church day. I woke up shaking and shivering like crazy — I was freezing. And I had intense shooting pains in my right leg. Uh-oh, I said. The cellulitis is back. Damn. I got up, took a hot shower to try …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Creamy Tuscan Pheasant

Many people think of Italian cooking when they ponder delicious sauces served over pasta, lots of vegetables, olive oil and cheesy pizzas topped with a variety of meats. Ancient Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultures contributed to an Italian cuisine rich in all of those and more. Like all Italian cuisine, Tuscan food is rich in those attributes. Tuscany is also …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — City Council Meetings As Theater

At a Portland (Ore.) City Council meeting a decade ago, a local environmental activist concluded his remarks by dumping a load of garbage he’d collected onto the floor of the council chambers. Whatever the impact this stunt had on council members, it immediately moved Aaron Landsman, an out-of-town artist who was in the audience by chance. It suggested to him a …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Closure: A Return To Puget Sound With The Dopsons And An Homage To My Mother

Home safe in North Dakota. Three new life birds: Pigeon Guillemot, Chestnut-backed Chickadee and Marbled Murrelet. Many orcas and other wonders of the Puget Sound area and countless new memories of explorations and adventures with good friends. And finally I can say that I’ve been to British Columbia and the San Juan Islands.

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Day Darrell Fell Through A Hole In The Deck

HIS LAST WORDS BEFORE HE HIT THE GROUND WERE _________________________! Saturday was just a typical quiet midsummer weekend day at our house — I should say MY house because it’s been all mine for more than a week as Lillian traveled to the West Coast with her friend, Christine. I picked raspberries in the morning, stopped at the Bismarket and …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Is It Time For A New Constitutional Convention?

The 250th birthday of the United States is coming in four years. Already the great cultural institutions of America (National Endowment for the Humanities, Library of Congress, Smithsonian, prestigious universities) are thinking about the appropriate way to celebrate this important anniversary. We can expect fireworks, parades, festivals, orations — and protests, criticism, demands for a full-on national recognition of all …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — My New Life With An Electric Car: A Love Story

Humankind is sleepwalking toward an apocalypse and until a few years ago, I was one of the zombies. I had been aware of climate change for decades, first learning of it in the late 1980s through the work of NASA climatologist James Hansen. In 2006, I watched with considerable alarm “An Inconvenient Truth,” the documentary in which Al Gore called global …

TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — Half A Dozen (Or So) Questions For Ginny Eastman Dullum

The city of Bismarck celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. Not to date her or anything, but 50 years ago, my current wife, Ginny, helped plan the city’s centennial celebration. My how time flies! Like it or not. Ginny was born in Bismarck and grew up there. She graduated from the University of North Dakota, returned to Bismarck for work, where …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — A European’s Perspective On Gun Violence In America

This is another in an occasional series we are calling The de Tocqueville Interviews.* This summer, America’s unique, exasperating gun culture has taken center stage. On May 24, the Uvalde school shooting horrified the nation. Within a month, President Biden signed into law (above) the most substantial piece of gun safety legislation passed in the U.S. in decades. Yet on June 23, the U.S. …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Garden Notes No. 72: The Perennials And Tomatoes Take Center Stage

A deluge of magical rain these past weeks has made all the difference. That and two loads of mulch from the dump and some clearance bags of mulch from Runnings. Busy now, packing for an expedition with a woman friend. Countless lessons about packing from my Mother are informing and inspiring me today. More smiles now than tears. Stay tuned for news …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — DockDogs

DockDogs is one of the fastest-growing sport on four legs. It was started in 2000 “to create a nationally recognized competitive sport based on rules and precedents in track and field competitions,” the organization’s website states. DockDogs brought the competition this past week to the Polk County Fair in Fertile, Minn. Grand Forks photographer Russ Hons was on hand for the …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — If You Live Long Enough, Good Things Can Happen

I’m going to take a little time out today from politics and saving the Bad Lands to get a little personal. A good thing has happened for me this summer, a reunion with an old pal, and I’m feeling pretty happy about it. So I’ll tell you the story. Those of you who know me know that my heart slides …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Anyone who has raised a garden or grew up in a family that had one knows that nothing beats fresh veggies. The same be true of fruit. Picking an apple off a tree or raspberries from the canes and then eating them are one of life’s true pleasures. Now I know that not everyone can be as lucky as we …

TOM COYNE: Back In Circulation — The Fraternal Twins Of 2022

When our twins, Ashley and Patrick, were born over 30 years ago, my wife and I often got curious looks as our double stroller rolled through the neighborhood. “Are they identical?” some would ask. That is, until they noticed the pink and blue pajamas and were told their names. This year’s version of the Minnesota Twins would appear to be …